February 25, 2024

Two children who could not take food till the age of two and a half years were relieved by civil doctors by performing a rare surgery.

Ahmedabad : Imagine when you can’t swallow food, let alone saliva, and if you are told that such a situation happens to child, the thought is heartbreaking. That’s when such a condition arises. Approximately one in every 3200 babies are born with this birth defect called esophageal atresia. Usually in such children the pharynx and windpipe are also abnormally connected to each other. However, a rare defect known as ‘esophageal atresia only’, with a prevalence of 8%, naturally has no esophagus or food pipe, but instead has one closed end just below the throat and another closed end just above the stomach. So even saliva cannot be swallowed through the mouth.Smit and Mitansh are two children who were born with this rare birth defect. These boys could not even take a grain of food from their mouths till now after birth. When this rare disease was detected on the first day of life, primary surgery was done on both the children, esophagostomy, i.e. opening the upper part of the esophagus to drain it out of the throat (to drain mucus) and gastrostomy, i.e. placing a tube in the stomach to give liquid food directly into the stomach. This time of life was very difficult and miserable for these 2 families.

Fortunately, the operation and subsequent postoperative period went smoothly in both children without complications. A temporary feeding tube was placed in the small intestine to provide nutrition to the babies in the initial period after the operation. After making sure that the newly created esophagus was well attached and the root had entered it properly, both the boys were fed orally and both are now able to take food well by mouth. Both babies tasted food for the first time in their two and a half years of life. The expressions on their faces and the joy of their parents was priceless and indescribable. For all of us involved in this satisfying surgery, these two successes in a month’s time are an early Diwali gift.

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